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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Friday 10 February 2012

Confabulation, Stigma and Homophobia

This article is worth a read, though the story it tells is as reprehensible and heartbreaking as it is tragic and avoidable.

But, stories like these aren't uncommon.  In any case where stigma is present (against gays, Jews, a religion, a political ideology, class), these are the commonalities - fear, aggression, avoidance and confabulation.  It all ends messy with a mental toll placed on all, but sadly a physical toll that is more targeted.

Why does this happen?  Because emotions aren't rational.  In some cases, threat-defense mechanisms are no longer purposeful; in others, ancient responses are being misapplied to modern contexts.  We don't understand our emotions or how they impact our conscious decisions; therefore, we're at their mercy.

The only way to eliminate stigma of any kind is to acknowledge that fear is the problem, that fear lies within ourselves.  To change the world, we're all going to have start from the inside out.

UPDATE: "It's critical to know there is a difference between tolerance and acceptance."  A brilliant video on why communication matters.

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